Australia announced a plan to halt extinction of species.
- The Australian Government is planning on stopping species from going extinct and ending the country’s status as “the mammal extinction capital of the world”.
- The strategy comes after the State of the Environment report found that Australia has the highest instances of extinction in the world.
- This is the first time that Australian government has announced a zero extinction target for the country’s flora and fauna.
- The 10-year strategy aims to prioritize the conservation of 110 threatened animals and plants, including Koala.
- It also seeks to protect a third of Australia’s landmass, which is deteriorating at a rapid pace due to habitat loss, invasive pests and weeds, climate crisis and frequent natural disasters.
- The protection of at least 30 per cent of the landmass under the environmental law ensures the safety of vulnerable species and habitats.
- 20 areas with high densities of threatened species will be specifically targeted, like Kangaroo Island and Blue Mountains.
- The strategy also includes improving climate resilience, building “insurance” populations of some key species in predator-free zones and improving surveillance of existing populations.
- It will also focus on reducing the impact of feral cats, foxes and a weed called gumba grass.
- Under the new plan, the aboriginal people’s expertise will be utilized for the protection of the environment.
- The plan is being criticized as it picked “winners” by identifying 110 “priority species”, when around 2,000 species have been listed as threatened under the national laws.
- It is unclear how this plan seeks to protect those species have not been recognized as priority.
- The goals of the plan are difficult to attain unless the funding is increased to improve the conservation efforts, ensure the recovery of species and prevent habitat loss.
- According to experts, around 1.69 billion USD is required to address the problem of extinction in Australia.